Instagram cracks down on controversial coronavirus filters

Searches for filters related to the pandemic will no longer yield results.

Mar 16, 2020, 3:57 pm

IRL

Mikael Thalen 

Mikael Thalen

Three individuals using Instagram coronavirus filters

@rickyberwick/twitter @VincentDupontJV/twitter @gemma_thomas7/twitter (Fair Use) Mikael Thalen

Instagram is taking action against user-created filters related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Numerous popular filters have spread across social media in recent weeks, some of which allege to alert users as to whether they’ve been infected with the disease.

“Ugh, I made an Instagram filter off the coronavirus,” Twitter user @VincentDupontJV shared.

Users on the platform can create filters of their own through the Instagram Effects Gallery.

Other coronavirus-related filters let users don a surgical mask and cough out germ particles as well.

Not all of the filters are directly linked to the virus itself. Some center around the public’s response to the outbreak, such as the widespread demand for toilet paper.

One such filter, known as “Toilet Paper Panic,” even tells users which brand of toilet paper they should purchase.

“A whole day of coronavirus contingency planning and an Instagram filter called ‘Toilet Paper Panic’ might have tipped me over the edge,” user @gemma_thomas7 remarked.

Instagram, according to the Sun, says it has since blocked all searches for coronavirus-themed filters in response to complaints. Attempts to search for such filters now return a “No Results” response.

The site also made a point to remove any filters that claim to “predict, diagnose, treat, or cure coronavirus.”

The site, like many social media platforms at the moment, has also prominently displayed links to organizations such as the CDC and WHO in an attempt to push back on coronavirus misinformation.

Despite their best efforts, false claims about the virus and even calls to ignore the advice of health officials remain prominent across social media.

The latest statistics from John Hopkins University indicate that 179,073 confirmed cases have been detected across the globe, including 7,057 deaths.

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H/T The Sun

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Last updated Mar 16, 2020, 4:02 pm